Lies Beneath by Anne Greenwood Brown
Published: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Calder White lives in the cold, clear waters of Lake Superior, the only brother in a family of murderous mermaids. To survive, Calder and his sisters prey on humans, killing them to absorb their energy. But this summer the underwater clan targets Jason Hancock out of pure revenge. They blame Hancock for their mother's death and have been waiting a long time for him to return to his family's homestead on the lake. Hancock has a fear of water, so to lure him in, Calder sets out to seduce Hancock's daughter, Lily. Easy enough—especially as Calder has lots of practice using his irresistible good looks and charm on unsuspecting girls. Only this time Calder screws everything up: he falls for Lily—just as Lily starts to suspect that there's more to the monsters-in-the-lake legends than she ever imagined. And just as his sisters are losing patience with him.
Lies Beneath is not the Disney mermaid tale that you might have been expecting. Calder and his mermaid sisters are vicious killing machines intent on taking revenge out on Jason Hancock. I loved that Greenwood Brown did not soften this aspect of Calder's character and that is where the strength of this story is. Calder begins as an unapologetic killer. He believes that his way of life is just a that, a way of life. Yet, there is a part of him that realizes that his life could have been entirely different, and that he could have been normal. It's this part of him that makes him a character the reader can like. As the story progresses, Calder becomes less sure of the brutal life he and his sisters lead, and this builds a new dimension to his character, making him into one that the reader can actually cheer for.
Lily was a frustrating character for me. She started off really strong, distrustful of Calder, suspicious of who he was and what his intentions were. I really liked that she wasn't falling all over him just because of his looks. But midway through she became Twilight's Bella, convinced that despite what Calder had done in the past, what he was, and what he told her his intentions were, that he would never hurt her. It was just too much for me, and I was glad that I didn't need to read things from her perspective.
Despite Lily's about face in character, I really enjoyed the story and am finally being forced to realize that I do like reading from a male's point of view. I am definitely looking forward to reading more of this series.